Last Thursday, a 22-year veteran of the San Diego police department filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against detectives in her unit. The lawsuit alleges that the detectives created a hostile environment by making sexually offensive comments and posting photos of men and women in suggestive poses.
Deborah Burgess alleges sexual harassment, retaliation, and also claims age and gender discrimination. She alleges the department failed to prevent discrimination and harassment. Burgess stated that when she first joined the sex crimes unit, in 2005, personnel followed the department’s policies regarding harassment and discrimination. However, in 2009, when two new supervisors were assigned to the unit she began to notice changes.
Filing a lawsuit of this nature requires a knowledgeable sexual harassment attorney with a record of successful cases. The two supervisors assigned to her unit, Lt. Rick O’Hanlon and Sgt. Dan Cerar, along with two other detectives Carl Hershman and Edward Fletes are named as defendants in her lawsuit.
According to her lawsuit, the officers would make derogatory statements about sexual assault victims. She also stated that two officers decorated their cubicles with pictures of men and women in sexually suggestive poses. Burgess also claims that men in the unit were treated better than female officers.
As specialists, sexual harassment attorneys have the capabilities of effectively presenting these types of cases. Burgess also said that when she complained about the behavior to internal affairs, she endured harassment and retaliation. Retaliation often follows sexual harassment complaints. Individuals subjected to this behavior can retain sexual harassment lawyers to hold the guilty parties accountable.